We have those debates in football. Would Rangers and Celtic cut it in the Premier League?
Should we ever allow them in? Should they go straight into the top flight?
We haven’t heard the argument too often recently, but there has always been a similar debate in Wales.
The New Saints, the dominators of the league and cups for many years, until last season, have always posed those same questions.
Located in England but playing in Wales, is something that narks some people who look into the league from afar.
There are reasons for that, but that isn’t what this is about.
I was asked a few years ago where I think TNS would sit if they were to compete in England.
My answer wasn’t well accepted by this fan, who to be fair at the time had a bellyful of beer in him.
Love or hate the Saints there is no doubt they’ve had some top players over the years. Players who’ve stayed for years, and others who have gone on to bigger and better things.
The likes of Barrow’s Scott Quigley and Fleetwood Town’s Sam Finley have shown what can be done after plying your trade at Park Hall.
With the calibre of player that TNS have boasted over the years, as a fan of Welsh football, I am always intrigued to see where the Saints would place in England.
I’ve heard some say winning the National League and I’ve even heard others say competing in League Two.
The latter of those suggestions is off the mark in my opinion.
The Saints are a great footballing side for the level they are at, and they are far superior to most of the other sides.
They dominate sides, they get things their own way, but as I’ve seen from covering non-league football across the border, or on the same side if you like, it doesn’t always go like that.
The National League is littered with talented cast offs, seasoned pros, and players who’ve bossed higher leagues for years.
Even the National League North is a highly competitive, immensely tough and strong division, which isn’t for the faint hearted.
For me, the Saints are probably winning that division, or very near the top given what they have and where they get their players from.
When it comes to the National League itself, for me, the Saints are floating around mid table.
Some may disagree with that given the football they play, but there’s a difference to beating Cefn Druids on a plastic pitch when you’re not even out of second gear, to facing Dover away on a cold, wet, Tuesday night.
I for one would love to see TNS in England, being someone who has heard all the Oswestry Town tales over the years.
Whether it ever happens remains to be seen, but personally I think that would be their level.
On top of that, I’ve always been asked where the league and the other 10 or so sides sit in comparison to England.
England and Wales on the whole is always an unfair comparison when it comes to success and Europe, because of the gulf in size of the countries.
But domestically, I’d see your Bala’s and Connah’s Quays would be in the National League North, pushing for promotion
Your remaining sides probably sit in the upper reaches of the Northern Premier League.
Again a strong league, but from what I’ve seen from hundreds of games in recent years, I can’t see some of the remaining clubs competing in the National League North.
Yes, on an individual level, players will go and cut it and many have certainly gone and cut it.
But collectively I don’t think all sides could. That’s just the opinion of one man who has seen hundreds of WPL games over the last seven years.
This will sure to cause some debate and it can’t be taken too seriously. Because at the end of the day, it is hypothetical and it will probably never happen!